Belfast Telegraph

Dunbia well primed for Brexit with £1bn in sales

The group company behind Co Tyrone meat giant Dunbia said it's poised to take advantage of opportunities from Brexit as it reported a sales increase of over 60% to over £1bn
The group company behind Co Tyrone meat giant Dunbia said it's poised to take advantage of opportunities from Brexit as it reported a sales increase of over 60% to over £1bn
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

The group company behind Co Tyrone meat giant Dunbia said it's poised to take advantage of opportunities from Brexit as it reported a sales increase of over 60% to over £1bn.

According to Dunbia Limited's annual report for 2018, sales were up more than £400m to £1.09bn, though it had been a nine-month accounting period previously.

It's the UK group's first full company accounts since merging with Co Waterford firm Dawn Meats in 2017.

The group includes 11 operations in Britain as well as its head office in Dungannon.

The group's pre-tax profits had been more than halved, from £7.2m to £3.5m.

Operating profit was down from £8.3m to £6.3m.

A strategic report filed with the accounts said the fall was due to reduced output prices and higher lamb input prices, along with increased labour costs and other costs associated with the integration of the businesses.

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However, those factors were offset by the impact of the 12-month reporting period.

And the report said that the potential effects of Brexit related mainly to exchange rates and tariffs on goods and services.

It added: "We remain flexible to redirect our business as greater clarity emerges, so we are well-positioned to face challenges and avail of opportunities that might arise."

Employee numbers had fallen from 4,869 to 4,433 following the closure of a number of manufacturing facilities. Dunbia and Dawn Meats process 900,000 cattle and nearly three million sheep every year.

Dawn Meats was set up by Peter and John Queally with their business partner Dan Browne.

It now has annual sales of £2bn, with over 7,000 staff in 10 countries. Dunbia was also established by two brothers, Jim and Jack Dobson. The companies merged in 2017.

Meanwhile, accounts for Dunbia (NI) shows sales of £236.3m in 2018 compared to £179.1m on the shorter accounting period. The company said the decline was down to a reduction in hides sales though higher retail volumes had helped offset that factor. And pre-tax profit for the year was £3.637m compared to £810,000 over the previous nine months. Staff numbers fell from 1,061 to 938, though the wages bill was up from £19m to £26m.

Looking ahead, its strategy is "product development and product growth" with a focus on maintaining a stable high-quality supplier base.

Belfast Telegraph

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